I can see the smile of Jesus when I close my eyes. His smile looking back at me paints the words He says in every verse written in red. A smile changes everything. Joy. Laughter. Revelry. Glory. I want you to see Him… by the Spirit. Experience Jesus with all the five senses. Hear His cheerfulness over you. See His captivation for you. Taste His Heavens for you. Touch His crown given to you. Feel His passion for you.
Mark’s gospel gives us an inside look into the life of Jesus. The gospels are meant to describe His very nature. His very essence. His very image. Mark describes Jesus with the purpose of telling us of His life and ministry on earth. This study aims to discover more of this God who came to earth to love His people and save the world from their sins. He is the one we want to emulate. Let Him mark you. Let Him influence you. Let Him love you. Let Him define you and your trajectory.
The Marks of Jesus we will talk about in today’s study.
Verse 7: Being Followed
Verse 8: Being Heard
Verse 9: A Crush
Verse 10: A Touch
Verse 11: Recognition
Verse 12: Strict Orders
This week in our study of Marked by Jesus, we study Mark 3:7-12 where Jesus attracts a large crowd of followers. He makes his way to the sea to find a place to teach where all can see and hear Him. Jesus wants to reach the crowds, but its in this instance the crowds find Him. When Jesus moves about, people find Him. When Jesus travels, people come to Him. When Jesus ministers, people flock to Him. Jesus could not go anywhere without attracting people to Himself. When you carry Jesus inside of you, you attract others to you by His Holy Spirit in you. In this passage, we will learn more about Jesus and the marks of His identity in tandem with the marks of His followers who long to be in a relationship with Him.
Verse 7: The Mark of Being Followed
“Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea.”
They followed Him. Closely. They wanted to be with Jesus. The crowds. The people. The onlookers. The ones who heard about Him, saw Him, and needed Him. So they followed Him. At this moment, Jesus has withdrawn with His disciples but the people cannot help but flock to Him.
Mark says here in verse 7 “a great crowd followed.” The word “crowd” in Greek is “plethos,” which means a great number, multitude, and company. In the military, this term “company” designates a group of soldiers who form a unit and follow their commander. Jesus is the commander worth following. Everyone who follows Him forms a unit and works together to accomplish His mission.
Jesus carries the mark of being followed because He is the One we were designed to follow. Everywhere He goes, people follow Him and join Him. They want to enlist in His mission. They want to support His mission. They want to see His mission fulfilled.
Follow Jesus and your purpose awakens.
Jesus is always accessible.
Even though Jesus has withdrawn at the beginning of this passage with His disciples, the people still find Him because He is always accessible. Jesus is available even when He seems hidden.
There is nowhere Jesus can go that you can’t find Him.
There is nowhere Jesus can withdraw to that you can’t draw near to Him. Jesus makes His location accessible to others, even when He needs time of isolation and seclusion to re-energize. His ministry necessitated alone time because of the exertion He poured out day to day. He walked, traveled, spoke, healed, taught, and mentored His disciples constantly all by Himself. Thus, it is important that He took time to refresh, for the benefit of His ministry.
Jesus draws followers.
In Mark 1, Jesus called Peter and Andrew to follow Him and they did. All they needed was an invitation. Jesus said, “Come, follow Me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” in Mark 1:17. Verse 18 says, “And they left their nets at once and followed Him.” You want to follow Jesus when you He asks you to come with Him.
People followed Jesus for a reason. They wanted to go where He went. They wanted to see what He would do. They wanted to hear what He would say. They wanted the personal access to everything pertaining to the life of Jesus. Jesus gives us personal access to Him through a personal relationship with Him.
“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21
Jesus welcomes you when you come to Him.
Verse 8: The Mark of Being Heard
“And Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that He was doing, they came to Him.”
Jesus wants to be heard too. He wants His words to affect your heart. He wants His voice to transform your soul. He wants His love to move your existence. Hear Him… every word He says…
When Jesus taught, everyone heard it.
Jesus’ identity was heard all around the world.
In 1st century antiquity, people came from all over to see Him. They had not heard the sound of His voice yet. They had not listened to His sermons in person yet. But they wanted to, based on the message that was spreading about Him. Jesus’ reputation for healing, truth, teaching, love, hope and salvation into the Kingdom of Heaven was what the people were waiting for. When you hear the good news, you cannot help but to drop everything to claim it.
When the crowds heard, they came.
Jesus carries the mark of being heard.
To “be heard” is more than someone hearing the utterance of a sound or the articulation of words. Being heard indicates you have been understood and received in full by the one hearing you. You want more than surface-level communication when it comes to your relationships. You want to be heard and understood for what you communicate. This leads to breakthroughs and empathy. Jesus speaks because He wants to be heard. He wants you to hear Him accurately. Thus, He speaks in parables so that those who have the desire to hear Him will hear Him by the Spirit, and those who do not desire to hear Him will not be able to understand because their Spirit rejects it.
You must desire to understand someone before you can go deeper in conversation and relationship with someone.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
The mark of being heard means you can sustain flourishing relationships. Communicate and understand one another for the intentions and meaning of what you are communicating.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
The crowds wanted to come to Jesus because they heard Him and understood what He was about. They knew He was the One Israel prophesied about. They knew He was Messiah. They wanted Him in their lives.
Want Jesus in your life and hear Him more and more.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27
Jesus will hear you too. We have a reciprocal relationship. You hear Jesus and Jesus hears you.
Jesus loves to hear what you say because He is madly in love with you.
Verse 9: The Mark of A Crush
“And He told His disciples to have a boat ready for Him because of the crowd, lest they crush Him.”
Jesus saw it coming. The crushing. The breach of personal space. The chaos of their love pressing in on Him. He was ready for it. So He got in a boat. This way, everyone could see Him and hear Him altogether. Jesus wants everyone who loves Him to hear Him. So He positions Himself in a way that everyone can hear His every word.
Jesus had a crush. Many crushes. Many crowd-swarming situations. Many mosh pits. Many fans. Many admirers. He is the King of the universe, after all.
Jesus had to get a boat because of the “crowds.” Jesus sees the crushing and He adapts to the situation. He makes provisions accordingly. Sometimes Jesus remains at a distance when there is a crushing and at other times, He allows the crowds to press in.
We read about the woman who touched the fringe of Jesus’ garment because she knew if she could get closer to Jesus He would heal her. She was right. Jesus’ presence heals her on the spot. You can come closer to Jesus even in tight spaces. God wants your faith. God wants your audacity.
Mary Magdalene crushed on Jesus when she lavished her love on Him at a dinner given in His honor. To everyone else, she was bothering Him. Just another love-swept woman. But to Jesus, she was anointing Him. Loving Him. Lavishing Him. Doting on Him. He treasured every moment of what she gave.
Jesus knew who loved Him. Who adored Him. Who admired Him. Who crushed on Him. Both in tight spaces and in secret spaces of the heart. But His goal is to be our Savior, the pure and holy Savior who can love us purely and cleanse us in His righteousness of love. Love is always pure.
Jesus is the one you can love forever, without shame and without restraint.
“Have a boat ready!” He told the disciples. He wanted to be right there with His people. The ones who loved Him.
Jesus does not escape at the realization of your love for Him. He stays. He prepares to touch everyone with His love.
Verse 10: The Mark of A Touch
“For He had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around Him to touch Him.”
Press in around Jesus. Come close to the healer. Get near the Warrior of Heaven. He makes you whole.
All the people “pressed around Him to touch Him” because that they knew what He could do. They wanted this healing touch. They needed this healing touch. They came close for this healing touch. They “pressed around Him” just to get near the healer.
This action of pressing in around Jesus demonstrates intense faith. They knew all it took was nearness to Jesus. One touch. That’s all they needed. Then they would be healed.
Jesus healed “many” according to Mark. Jesus does not stop at the one. Jesus keeps healing every single person in His vicinity.
Jesus carries the touch of the Holy Spirit so He can touch every person with healing.
In Mark 1:10, a dove descends from Heaven onto Jesus to anoint Him with the Holy Spirit. His Holy Spirit. The spirit of God. The Holy Spirit heals people. A touch from God marks you with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ touch marks you with anointing.
Verse 10 says, “all who had” diseases. This is a past tense verb. Had. They would not have these diseases for long. Soon, Jesus would heal them and their present condition would be cleansed and pure. Holy and healed. Perfect and loved.
Jesus’ touch heals your past.
Jesus’ touch heals your present.
Jesus’ touch anoints your future.
The One who sees us
The King who needs us
The Lord who gives us
from the throne of grace
heals every place
Verse 11: The Mark of Recognition
“And whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they fell down before Him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”
Jesus is the Son of God. Everyone knows it. Everyone will behold Him. Everyone will bow to Him. Everyone to exalt Him as Lord of lords.
All spirits know Jesus is King. Jesus is recognized for His identity in verse 11 by the unclean spirits because they know He is the Son of God. Even Satan recognizes who Jesus is.
Jesus carries the mark of recognition. He is known by every spirit He encounters in the spirit realm. Spiritual warfare intensifies wherever He goes. Because Jesus’ spirit of light provokes the darkness to scatter.
Mark specifies that these unclean spirits “fell down before Jesus” in the moment of affirming Jesus as the Son of God. They fall down. Literally. Their whole body and existence bows before Him involuntarily. They always will bow before Jesus, even in the heat of battle. Jesus reigns supreme.
Jesus carries the mark of recognition as God.
Every unclean spirit must bow to Jesus. There is no unclean spirit that is more powerful than God. God rules over everything. Thus, Jesus can heal anyone, no matter the condition. Evil must submit to Jesus. Diseases must submit to Jesus. Plagues must submit to Jesus. Wickedness must submit to Jesus. They all know Jesus is God.
Evil falls in the presence of King Jesus. Mark says as they fell down before Jesus, they “cried out.” A wailing occurs when evil spirits get close to Jesus. There is no joy for wickedness when in Jesus’ presence, for there is no happy ending for evil. But there is joy for the one who wants Jesus!
Evil spirits fall before Jesus and resent His Lordship.
Holy spirits encircle Jesus and praise His Lordship.
“Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in Heaven and on Earth and under the Earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11
It’s okay to praise and worship Jesus wherever you are. Don’t worry about where you live, where you work, what the guidelines are, who says this or that about what you can believe… worship Jesus! Your Spirit was made to worship Jesus! Your Spirit should not be restricted and inhibited in expressing who you love! Jesus is who we love. So let Him know you love Him.
Acknowledge Jesus for who He is. Affirm His glory and radiance.
“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:3
Verse 12: The Mark of Strict Orders
“And He strictly ordered them not to make Him known.”
There is a time for Jesus to be made known publicly. Jesus is coming back a second time to show the universe who He is, and every eye will behold Him. Here in Mark 3, Jesus is walking the earth with real people who need His healing and teaching. So He cannot die yet lest people miss out on getting to meet Him and be transformed by the Messiah.
Jesus “strictly ordered” the unclean spirits not to say anything about Him. He needed them to not tell He is the Son of God everywhere they go. Jesus needs to accomplish His mission on earth first, before His time for death and resurrection has come.
Jesus communicates orders with power. For a reason. Not to use his power just because. He only makes orders when absolutely necessary.
What has Jesus told us to do? Love Him. This is an order worth following.
“And Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37
When we love Jesus, we fulfill our calling. Every purpose comes from love. Love God first, then you will discover your life already carries purpose.
Jesus gives strict orders because He is a King. He can give strict orders because His orders are 100% pure and do not have to be questioned. He has no evil intent nor selfish gain involved in His orders. He does not aim to harm people in His order-giving. He aims to uplift people.
Jesus tells the unclean spirits to keep quiet so that He can continue to uplift, encourage, save, heal and love more people without obstructions.
Wouldn’t Jesus want to be made known? Wouldn’t that bring more followers? Jesus could have capitalized on these unclean spirits’ knowledge of His identity, and let them go into all the towns saying that He was the Son of God. But Jesus does not need their help.
Jesus does not need evil spirits to declare His identity.
Jesus would rather be known by the ones who love Him than by the evil spirits who have the power to travel to and fro covering a lot of ground to say who He is. Jesus wants everything in His ministry to be pure.
“He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” Psalm 24:4-5
Jesus wants to speak His identity through pure hearts, not impure hearts.
Jesus wants to join in partnerships with holy vessels, not evil vessels.
So He chooses you and I and makes us holy too.
Jesus makes us pure so that He can bring us closer to Him.
Jesus wants to join with you if you want Him to be King. He loves when you make Him known. The woman at the well in John 4 discovered Jesus was the Messiah in this story and she immediately runs to the town to make Him known in John 4:28-29.
Jesus does not mind being made known by His lovers. But Jesus will not let His enemies make Him known because their hearts are tainted. Love Jesus and you gain the sacred privilege of being able to tell about Jesus. His truth. His miracles. His Spirit. His love.
Everything about Jesus is worth speaking about.
My Favorite Takeaway From The Passage
“And He told His disciples to have a boat ready for Him…”
Jesus likes to invite us into His day. Into His projects. Into His ideas. Jesus knows just what to do at this moment He saw the crowds coming in close. But instead of keeping it to Himself, He shares His idea with the disciples so they can partner with Him in executing it. Jesus is a leader who shares His plans for His people with His people. He wants us to get involved with Him.
What can you have ready for Jesus? How can you get involved with Him in the middle of your day?
Get involved with Jesus and you get to experience the adventures of His daily life.
Every day is exciting with Jesus. You never know what He might do and what He might think of next. You never know where He might go and what He might ask of you next. Thus, the path remains exhilarating and exciting every moment.
You want Jesus with you to live an enjoyable life, and Jesus wants you with Him to live the adventures He envisions creating. He needs us too, in order to execute His plans. Just like He needed the disciples to execute His plan in Mark 3. Align with Jesus and live alive!